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Tory MPs dismiss minority govt hints as lacking ‘solid logic’

25 February 2014

While Number 10 is pouring cold water on suggestions that the Prime Minister might rule out a second coalition in the 2015 manifesto, his MPs have given it a rather icy reception. If the hints about him preferring a minority government to governing with the Lib Dems were supposed to reassure those on the Right that he does love them more than he loves Nick Clegg, they seem to have backfired rather. Instead, Conservative MPs I’ve spoken to today are annoyed for a variety of reasons.

The first is that backbenchers feel any plan to rule out a coalition in the manifesto is counterproductive. It’s worth noting that Number 10 sources are insisting that ‘our manifesto is about policy’ rather than giving any suggestion that there would be a commitment on minority government in the document. But one MP points out that this ‘gives the Lib Dems a perfect excuse to switch to Labour’ as it rules out working with them. Another says ‘given the choice between coalition government with the Lib Dems and no government with Dave leading us in Opposition, I’d take coalition’, adding that while Cameron may want to encourage the right of his party that he does like them after all, ruling out coalition before the general election has even taken place may put off centrist voters who might suppose that the Prime Minister is stubborn and unattractively partisan (the poor chap can’t win, can he?).

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Another reason for rage is that backbenchers just don’t quite believe the Prime Minister. ‘We know he’s not right-wing anyway,’ mutters one MP. Another says ‘It is a classic “how does this play Dave” rather than any solid logic. If the electorate want a coalition by how they vote then that is what we have to give them.’

Interestingly, though Number 10 is annoyed at any suggestion the Conservatives aren’t steaming towards a majority, that’s not the main thing that’s annoying MPs. They are quite comfortable with the notion that the PM might be preparing for minority government – just not that he’s trying to soothe them in what they perceive to be a rather transparent and insincere fashion.

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  • Geo Shepherd

    Cameron is bored with being PM – he’s looking for a get out clause – he has realised “taking the talk” is not enough – lots of lovely speeches but no real conviction – he thinks it will look like an honorable way out if he says “Majority or bust” – assuming he doesn’t quite get that he will step aside with (in his mind) head held high

  • andagain

    So after four years of wining about Cameron going into coalition with the LibDems, the right is offended that Cameron thinks they object to going into a coalition with the LibDems…

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …you’re giving credence to the Speccie kid’s gossip. You shouldn’t.

      • andagain

        So I should continue with my original belief that the Right is too stupid to realise that if the Tories don’t have a majority they need the LibDems to get anything through Parliament?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Well, you should continue on with an original belief that the Camerloons are too stupid… and let the rest take care of itself.

          • andagain

            the Camerloons are too stupid…

            Too stupid to do what?

            • the viceroy’s gin

              …pretty much anything, it would seem.

              • andagain

                You can’t think of specific example then? Especially not one that is relevant to the original post.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  …as mentioned, pretty much anything is an example.

  • Tony_E

    Surely whatever happens now, Cameron cannot go into coalition with the Lib Dems. It’s open warfare between the coalition partners more than a year out to the election – it wouldn’t suddenly cure itself if the numbers stacked up.

    The only possible coalition now is the Lib Lab one. And I’m not sure that will be necessary anyway. Labour should stroll home in 2015 by a country mile.

  • CharlietheChump

    So, not cast in iron then.

  • hookeslaw

    You do seem to have a hot line to the thick end of the tory backbench.
    IF there were a tory largest party then with a good economic outlook then a minority got would make sense.
    But if Cameron were to say he was willing to go into a coalition again you would I am sure be searching out the numpty rump willing to say he was defeatist.
    What Cameron said was he wants to win a majority.
    Reality twists to suit the need to run an accusatory anti tory story

    • Noa

      Must be an Hookslaw impersonator, coudn’t find the trademanrk nutjob reference.

  • swatnan

    Its what a said earlier, but wasn’t printed, the PM has been more than economical with the truth. Not even his MPs believe him.

  • Mynydd

    If Mr Cameron had the bottle he would have formed a minority government in 2010, and challenged Labour and Lib Dems to vote him out. His only hope in 2015 is to form a coalition with UKIP.

    • hookeslaw

      Ukip would gift power to euro philosophy labour

      • saffrin

        Not if the working classes see UKIP as the best hope for jobs.

      • Noa

        Ahhh, there it is…

  • AnotherDave

    The LDs are going to lose seats in the 2015 election. Most of those seats will be won by Labour or the Conservatives.

    The most likely result in 2015 is a majority government. On current form Labour.

  • Smithersjones2013

    If the electorate want a coalition by how they vote then that is what we have to give them.’

    Stand up the dimwitted Tory twerp who said that and point to where the box to choose a coalition is on the General election ballot slip. NOBODY votes for a coalition and only a prize idiot would even think that!

    A coalition position suggests not that people want it but that insufficient have confidence in any party. Basically such a result is a vote of no confidence by the electorate in any of the parties.

    The lack of intelligence of some of the Parliamentary Conservative Party is frightening! How do they select these idiots?

    • Noa

      And if you don’t have a UKIP candidate its time to get religious and vote for Nun of the above.

  • Kitty MLB

    The country will not ever again for a hodgepodge coalition.
    Which proved most certainly not to be in the national interest.
    Besides who in heavens name would want the treacherous and duplicitous Lib Dems
    calling all the shots. All they have ever done is stop the largest party
    in the coalition from doing its duty towards the country and
    the largest party has allowed the back end of a pantomime horse to dictate.
    The issue is that as we know Cameron is just not a Conservative,he
    is a Lib Dem in all but name, and he is a coalition PM, he needs them
    to hide behind, and obviously the backbenchers know that.

  • Hello

    “given the choice between coalition government with the Lib Dems and no government with Dave leading us in Opposition, I’d take coalition”

    That’s an interesting line. On so many different levels.

  • Foeu

    The Electorate do not vote for a coalition. Only those who vote for the appalling, unelectable on their own, Libdems want one.

  • James Allen

    Politicking – and rather inept politicking at that.

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